Case Studies and Relevant Work

Zigg Logo PNG vector in SVG, PDF, AI, CDR format

With a unique platform footing in the real estate technology industry, Zigg Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm, needed the right communications partner to guide them through announcing the close of their Fund II at $225 million.  The goal was to be as thoughtful and deep in their communications as they are in their investing.

Having earned the confidence and capital of leading universities, sovereign wealth funds, and philanthropic organizations, paired with the success of their 25 portfolio companies including one public exit, we knew Zigg needed a strategic partner who could gracefully communicate their expertise while maintaining integrity.

What we did

To highlight the critical role Zigg plays when it comes to innovation in real estate, our team knew we needed to set the right tone with media. Our media strategy included establishing relationships with reporters from top-tier outlets, negotiating and pitching an exclusive, and placing the funding news with outlets most relevant to Zigg’s target audience.

The Key developed strong messaging and talking points ,conducted media training, curated an announcement strategy focused on amplifying a company voice, and secured exclusive top-tier coverage in The Wall Street Journal.

The results

In addition to the exclusive article, The Key secured interviews and additional coverage in The Real Deal, Fortune’s Termsheet, and Benzinga’s Fintech Focus. Because of the funding news, Zigg Capital received additional interview requests, resulting in coverage in Protocol’s Braintrust and The Information.

Sweat Equity Ventures

With a new venture concept in development, the Sweat Equity Ventures (SEV) team needed the right communications partner to help them emerge from stealth, tell their launch story, and jumpstart relationships with key media. With our track record of working with high-profile Valley VCs like Atomic, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Maven Ventures, The Key was up for the challenge and excited to help SEV tell its story.

Backed by one of the most prolific visionaries in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn's co-founder Reid Hoffman, SEV trades operating expertise for equity. The firm's challenge was how to tell their story to ensure that key stakeholders understand why SEV is a Value Accelerator, and why added value and valuation isn't the same.

In a world of sky-high valuations and overvalued start-ups, much of today's news brings us back to a real business truth: value and valuation aren't equal, or even synonymous. Dan Portillo, previously a talent partner at Greylock Partners and a super league of experienced operators, created SEV to address the needs of today's founders.

Because this story was so nuanced, we wanted to ensure that SEV’s values and differentiators were crystal clear to media and stakeholders. The next step was writing sharp messaging to cut across the noise, and creating a media relations strategy to ensure a successful launch.

What we did

We knew that SEV's story needed a surgical approach to set the right tone with the media. Our strategy was to pitch an exclusive and place the launch announcement with one top-tier publication to set the stage for how SEV is different from other venture capital firms. The Key advised SEV to take a bet on an up-and-coming publication, one that business and tech communities were watching closely. The team pitched and secured an exclusive in Protocol, with an aim to ensure SEV’s story was told in a precise way, highlighting key messages, specifically that SEV is helping founders scale and add value.

The results

The article received over 635 total Facebook and Twitter social shares and was shared and highlighted by other top-tier business and technology publications, including The Information and TechCrunch.

The Protocol article sparked ongoing media interest, including an in-depth feature in Business Insider,  highlighting key SEV messaging. Due to a successful launch, SEV continues to turn to The Key to be the communication partner the team needs as they enter a new growth chapter.

Rubi Laboratories | Climatebase

Rubi is creating a world where human prosperity is planet-positive by decarbonizing supply chains, starting with the fashion industry. Inspired by how trees grow, the company uses biochemical processes powered by enzymes at an industrial scale to “eat” carbon emissions and make carbon-negative, resource-neutral textiles for the fashion industry.

Why They Wanted Comms

Fresh off the heels of their Pre- Seed (featured in Vogue Business and TechCrunch), Rubi came to us in need of a partner to craft an inspiring narrative (no greenwashing!) that differentiates and shines a light on companies that acknowledge the full impact of their products on the environment - and take action to ensure true sustainability - in a time when consumers urgently look for brands and products that aren’t damaging the planet.

Rubi also needed a PR firm that could act as a true extension of their small but mighty team and keep the ball rolling on opportunities with minimal legwork from co-founders Neeka and Leila Mashouf. As a Seed stage company experiencing unprecedented demand for their technology and product, Neeka and Leila have needed to be hyper-focused on scaling the business. And our partnership has enabled that to happen.

With our 20+ year track record of building alongside tech brands from Seed to IPO, Rubi entrusted us with the job.

What We Did

We developed a sharp PR strategy minimizing the amount of time Neeka and Leila spent focusing on comms, maximizing the amount of time they spent in the lab, while ensuring their story got in front of those helping to scale – global fashion brands, the scientific community, and top investors.

Our approach: crisp and impactive messaging to resonate with all stakeholders, hyper-selective media outreach, and brand-defining awards.

The Results

Our thoughtful strategy landed Rubi in The Wall Street Journal, CNN x Fujitsu, NBC, Fashion United, The Industry Fashion,  the San Francisco Business Times, the Skimm, and more.

In addition to top-tier media placements, Rubi has won Forbes 30 under 30, two Gold Stevie Awards for Most Innovative Company of the Year and Startup of the Year - Business Products Industries, and Inno Under 25.

As a true extension of their team, we continue to collaborate with them on website design, branding, speaking engagements, social media copy, and more.

Building a Planet Positive Future, Together

Ultimately, Co-founders Neeka and Leila aim to mitigate the global CO2 emissions of the most polluting industries, provide a carbon-removal service to manufacturing facilities, and continue innovating solutions to solve the climate crisis.

May Mobility - Company Profile | TrueJob

While May Mobility has grown quickly in the autonomous vehicle space, louder competitors like Waymo, Cruise and Tesla have mostly owned the media landscape and have become the go-to for media features on the AV space.  

What We Did

Through relationship-building tactics and showcasing how May stands out in the AV space, we were able to foster a close relationship with the production team at the Today Show, which in turn allowed us to jump on the opportunity when they did their “On the Go Today” segment.

The Key was able to coordinate the pre-filming and live segment with the assistance of the production team at Today. The coordination efforts also secured the Key team a close relationship with producers at the Today Show.

The Results

May Mobility was featured as THE example of autonomous vehicles being deployed and integrating into the daily fabric of people’s every day commutes to an audience of 17 million across the U.S.

Skip: Electric scooters for reliable last-mile ...

Skip Scooters launched in two cities over the course of five weeks. As a less-known player in the contentious scooter rivalry, Skip called upon The Key to build Skip’s reputation as the scooter company working WITH cities, not against them. Skip needed to be ready for the announcement of pilot permits in San Francisco -- and The Key was there to secure top-tier coverage highlighting Skip’s values.

What We Did

Coordinated proactive outreach to key national and regional outlets and reporters focused on the scooter space, as well as strategic content creation on Medium and social media.

The Results

The Key secured consistent national coverage in top-tier outlets including  the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, BBC, Business Insider, SF Chronicle, WIRED, USA Today, and more -- positioning Skip scooters as a trustworthy and thoughtful company willing to work with the city. This strong coverage led to broadcast interviews with Bloomberg, Cheddar, and NPR’s On Point, and increased national brand visibility.

File:Logo of The Presidio Trust with logotype.svg - Wikipedia

As a long-standing communications partner, we understand the Presidio Trust’s history and mission, and value the ongoing park preservation and improvement efforts. The Key helped create national awareness of the Fort Winfield Scott opportunity, demonstrating the Presidio Trust as a good business and park manager. With the Tunnel Tops Groundmaking, The Key helped raise visibility and planted the seeds of excitement for the project as a key element of the Presidio and San Francisco’s eco-friendly urban renewal. In each case, The Key drove national and local media exposure through tailored storytelling spanning travel, real estate, design, sustainability and philanthropy.

Across both projects, The Key secured local and national media coverage including: AFAR Magazine, Curbed SF, Inhabitat, New York Times, San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle, SFist, and more.